Friday, January 16, 2009

Qur'anic Abrogation - Surah 2:106

I was just observing a discussion regarding Qur'anic abrogation. Many Muslims attempt to avoid any sort of doctrine whatsoever, while others admit that verses were 'caused to be forgotten' and replaced. The first position obviously goes against the various Qur'anic verses and Islamic traditions. However, I was shocked at the way the Muslim attempted to interpret the ayat.

For example, Surah 2 aya 106 was raised:
And for whatever verse We abrogate or cast into oblivion, We bring a better or the like of it; knowest thou not that God is powerful over everything?
Surah 2:106 (Arberry)
The Muslim response to this was:

there is no verse in the Holy QurĂ¡n that's abbrogated or has been cancelled out! That verse that says that, is talking about past commandments given to past prophets, commandments contained in the Bible!
There is either no honesty or ignorance by our Muslim brother in making this claim. In appeal to the tafsir writers we see the picture.

Tafsir Ibn Abbas:

Then Allah mentions what was abrogated of the Qur'an and that which was not abrogated, as a direct reference to the claim of the Quraysh who said to the Prophet: O Muhammad! Why do you command us to do something and then forbid it, saying: (Such of Our revelations as We abrogate) We do not erase a verse that was acted upon before and which is now not acted upon (or cause to be forgotten) or leave unabrogated so that it is acted upon, (We bring one better) We send Gabriel with that which more profitable and easier to act upon (or the like) in reward, benefit and action. (Knowest thou not) O Muhammad (that Allah is Able to do all things?) of the abrogated and unabrogated.
Within the Qur'anic context it is clear that the ayat is not referring to the Bible but internal abrogation of the Qur'anic text. One thing that our Muslim brothers and sisters dislike to be reminded of is what the Qur'an actually has to asy about the Bible:

And believe in that I have sent down, confirming that which is with you, and be not the first to disbelieve in it. And sell not My signs for a little price; and fear you Me.
Surah 2:41 (Arberry)

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